Football: England should not be 'football snobs' at Euros, says Gareth Southgate

Reuters
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Jun 15, 2021, 02:51 PM(IST)

A file photo Photograph:( Reuters )

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England manager Gareth Southgate said his players should not be "football snobs" and can feel comfortable about hitting long balls out of defense.

England manager Gareth Southgate said his players should not be "football snobs" and can feel comfortable about hitting long balls out of defense if the opposition is pressing high up the pitch at the European Championship.

England kicked off their Euro campaign with a 1-0 win over Croatia on Sunday and the game featured a first-half disagreement between defender John Stones and goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

Stones wanted to build from the back, while Pickford preferred to play it long towards forward Harry Kane.

"I think they were just deciding (what to do)," Southgate said after Sunday's win. "We give them possible patterns depending on how the opposition are pressing.

"There was a spell where we went long and we just talked about that at halftime. We didn't want to do that every time. But there are moments to go longer. We've got a centre forward (in Kane) who wins more (than) his share of the ball.

"And we shouldn't be football snobs. It's great to play out from the back and get to the halfway line in control of the ball, but it’s just as effective to go to the centre forward and be in control of the ball and be able to play from there."

England faces Scotland, who lost 2-0 to the Czech Republic in their opener, in their next Group D game on Friday.

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